Finally, it took a lot longer than I planned but it is finished
The Villainess Is Being Doted on by the Crown Prince of the Neighboring Country 48
The Butler Who Knew The Game
The butler who stood in front of her was called Levi.
She did not know him, so it was strange that he had recognized her in spite of the disguise. But more than that, he knew about the fairies and the ring.
–Was he perhaps a main character in the sequel?
If that was true, it would explain why he knew so much.
Still, she had heard about the love interests from Akari before–and there was no one called Levi.
But even if he wasn’t a main character, he could still be a side character, Tiararose thought.
“In truth, I am also looking for the Fairy Queen’s ring. I know the way–but I do not have the queen’s blessing, and so I cannot enter.”
“…Who are you? My enemy?”
“No. I am lady Olivia’s butler.”
He said it as if he meant that he was nothing more or nothing less than that.
He did not seem like he would bend, and Tiararose gulped. He looked suspicious, but it was clear that he had information about this hidden stage.
“What is this Fairy Queen ring you speak of?”
“Oh, do you not trust me? The Fairy Queen’s ring is a ring made by the Fairy Queen. Each of these rings has their own power, and any who own them will receive an additional blessing–did you not know that?”
It really did sound like an event in a game, Tiararose thought.
But it seemed very unusual for a lady’s butler to be moving independently like this. He was the butler of a character that had absolutely no ties to her. It was incredibly strange.
“For now, why don’t we go to the place that contains the sea’s hidden stage?”
Levi told her that they didn’t need to go inside, but could just go and see it. …Tiararose thought about it and nodded. This was valuable information, and so she decided to take the plunge.
–I need to find out why he knows all of this.
There was also a possibility that he was from Japan.
“The hidden stage of the Fairy Queen is supposed to be near this cove…”
–So he had never actually been there?
He sounded like he had heard it from someone else. Tiararose felt her suspicions rise again.
As they walked down the white beach, they could see the cove a short distance away. The quiet sounds of the waves grew louder, and beautiful corals started to appear.
Tiararose couldn’t help but be taken in by how beautiful this beach that Aishira took care of was. She wished she could stay and look at it longer, but she had to repress that urge and search for the hidden stage.
‘It is over here.’ Levi said as they entered the cove.
The fish that swam here were much smaller than the ones by the beach. The water here also looked very colorful due to the corals.
“It should be in the very back. You are supposed to be able to enter the hidden stage from between those two corals–did you not know about it? You, who are the villainous daughter and bride of Prince Aquasteed. Princess Tiararose.”
“…You, you seem to know a lot about me.”
“There is no one in this kingdom who does not know about the crown prince’s wife.”
As there were rocks to climb over, Levi offered Tiararose a hand. He intended to escort her through, so she would not fall. But Tiararose was still not sure whether he was a friend or an enemy, and so she declined his offer.
Levi showed no signs of caring, and they continued on to the entrance near the corals. Tiararose had not replied to his question of whether she had known about it or not, but it was clear that he had taken her silence as a confirmation.
–Well, I really do know nothing.
She felt it was better to keep silent than to say something stupid, and so she sighed.
“It is passed these corals.”
“…They seem like very ordinary corals.”
“Unfortunately, I do not know how to enter it. But perhaps you, Tiararose, could get inside?”
The beautiful pink-colored corals looked like any others at a glance. But if this truly was the entrance, then there must be something more to it.
Tiararose reached out a hand and touched it.
It was a coral from the sea, and so it should have been cold, but the part that Tiararose felt was hot to the touch. She pulled back without thinking, and Levi looked at her and asked, ‘what’s wrong?’
He had said that he was unable to enter, since he had not been blessed. And so he did not feel any heat even when he placed his hand on it.
Tiararose tried touching it once again, and she felt a sinking sensation before her hand fell inside of the coral. She knew then, that this was unmistakably the hidden stage, and she who had been blessed by the Fairy Queen, was the only one who could enter.
She said as much to Levi, and then they heard a gentle voice that sounded almost like a bell.
Aishira had been tending to the beach and had ‘seen someone…’ or so she said as she walked towards them.
Tiararose was a little disappointed that someone had immediately seen through her disguise once again. How was it that people could recognize her…She scratched her head in disbelief.
“What are you doing here… Lady Olivia’s butler?”
“Do you know him? Aishira.”
“Yes. I have met with Olivia on several occasions.”
Aishira was puzzled at this odd pairing, but she decided not to ask any questions. However, she did wonder about her being alone with a man, while Aquasteed was away…
“I will return now, as I have confirmation. Princess Tiararose, I hope that we can speak again.”
Levi touched the coral with a satisfied expression before turning on his heels. Tiararose also did not feel like asking too many questions, and so she kept silent as he left.
Still–perhaps it was because of that atmosphere, but Aishira opened her mouth.
“You. That is a very rude way to talk to the wife of Prince Aquasteed.”
Aishira was usually very timid, but it seemed that she could not stand to see Tiararose treated so casually. And so she sounded angry.
How could you leave someone who was in a higher position than you and go home?
Levi looked at Aishira and sighed.
“How pathetic of you to raise your voice like that. I can hardly believe you are a duke’s daughter, like my lady Olivia.”
“A heroine who could not even receive the Fairy Queen’s blessing is of no consequence to Olivia.”
Levi said as if spitting at her, and left the cove behind him.
Aishira stood there, her mouth open and her eyes blinking. Tiararose thought hard about who this man could be.
◇ ◇ ◇
Aishira had offered to take Tiararose back, and so she was now sitting in a carriage with her. She looked at Aishira, who was sitting on the opposite side and had a dark expression. Perhaps it was the shock of what had just transpired.
“Aishira…um, this Lady Olivia who Levi works for, what kind of person is she?”
“Did you not know?”
“Yes. I was only taking a walk…and happened to meet him.”
She explained that they had never met before, and Aishira said ‘I see,’ with some relief.
After that, she slowly began to explain to her about these two people.
“You could say that Olivia’s house of Ariadale and mine…are on bad terms. But, surely you knew that?”
“Yes, I knew that much…”
“But it is really just our families that are like this. It is not as if Olivia and I are enemies.”
Aishira added, that they had often played together as children.
However, Olivia was apparently a little odd. And she would take Levi, her butler to all kinds of places and sightsee.
It would not have been an issue if it was just historic buildings and beautiful natural scenery… But the places that Olivia went to were somehow strange. She would go to ordinary and small rivers, bakeries in the city, the library, and even the kingdom of Lapis Lazuli. Aishira said that she only went to places that were not tourist attractions.
“…Though, perhaps this is not something that I should be telling you.”
“Oh, do not worry about me, Aishira.”
“This happened when we were not yet ten years old. There was talk of…of Olivia and Prince Aquasteed being engaged.”
–Did, did that mean…
“It is said that the king and duke Ariadale made a promise once. Without telling Olivia.”
“Without telling her…”
Tiararose could not help but feel sorry for her. Even if it was a political match that could not be avoided, it would be best to at least tell the person.
But then she tilted her head.
“I, I did not know that Prince Aqua had been engaged.”
As far as she remembered, he had not had a betrothed when he was at the academy in Lapis Lazuli. But if he did, it made no sense that she had not known about it.
“No, princess Tiararose. The two of them were engaged because of their parents, but Olivia was strongly against it when she found out… And, uh…it was broken off within a week.”
“Oh…that is a surprise.”
Tiararose could not imagine why anyone would have any complaints with Aquasteed. Of course, she would likely not have been able to marry him had his engagement not been called off.
“Yes. However, I do not know the reason… Perhaps there was someone else that she cared for.”
If that was the case, her strange sightseeing trips may have in fact been dates. Aishira added.
Tiararose nodded with understanding. But now she could not help but wonder if the person was Levi… He was a butler, but only called her by her first name…
–But more importantly.
“Isn’t Olivia the villainess of the sequel!?”
“Princess Tiararose? Sequel?”
“Ah, oh, nevermind… I did not know that Prince Aqua had been engaged in the past. I am just a little shaken…”
She looked down. ‘Of course,’ Aishira said sympathetically.
But Tiararose could think of nothing but this new villainess. This was an otome game, and so it was very strange that Aquasteed, the crown prince, had been single.
Aishira looked troubled, and Tiararose wondered about what else she had to say. She urged her on, but Aishira’s eyebrows lowered as if she did not want to say more.
Something that the sequel’s heroine did not want to say about the sequel’s villainess–there was only one thing. The harassment towards her.
Perhaps they had been friends as children, but now she was trying to hurt her.
“Did lady Olivia do something to you? Aishira?”
“! …Yes. Umm, Olivia has been spreading hurtful rumors about me on a regular basis…”
“It is nothing too bad. Things about the sea being filthy, or that the sea water damaged her hair, or that I have become fat from eating too many sweets… Oh, but yes. Recently, I have been eating too many, as your sweets are too delicious.”
Tiararose was a little exasperated by these stupid rumors, but if she really was spreading them–it left no question. Olivia was the villainous daughter of the sequel.
She didn’t know what she was plotting with Levi, but there was a high possibility that they knew about the game. Tiararose decided that she would have to go to her mansion to pay her a visit.